Aux Philippines, les citoyens face à la loi : couler ou nager ?

MANILLE – Le naufrage du ferry La Princess of the Stars au large de Rombon aux Philippines – avec des centaines de cadavres restés probablement prisonniers à l'intérieur – montre que le pays n'est pas seulement vulnérable aux catastrophes naturelles, mais aussi à celles d'origine humaine. La décision d'autoriser le navire à prendre la mer directement sur les traces du typhon Frank relève de l'incompétence pure et simple.

Et ce n'est pas le seul élément accablant, car la même compagnie maritime a été impliquée depuis 11 ans dans au moins trois autres naufrages, avec notamment la tragédie du Dona Paz en 1987 dans laquelle plus de 4000 personnes ont péri - la pire catastrophe maritime survenue en temps de paix. Ce bilan alourdit ignominieusement la souffrance de ceux qui ont perdu un être cher dans la catastrophe - qu'il soit mort ou disparu. Si les autorités avaient retenu les leçons des tragédies du passé, cette tragédie aurait sans doute pu être évitée.

La législation des Philippines, comme celle de la plupart des autres pays, considère le transport des passagers comme un service d'intérêt général et non comme une activité commerciale ordinaire avec le laissez-faire correspondant.

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